The other day was no different. The kids were happily napping. And I was going on a rampage downstairs. It started innocently enough, finishing off the scrubbing of the grout- Hoarders still playing on the TV nearby. But then I noticed how filthy the dog pen had become. I couldn't restrain myself. It had to be disassembled and hosed off in the backyard. It was going to happen.
When I got the whole thing in the back yard, (it's a large containment unit meant for kids- you can find it here. But we found it better suited for keeping the dogs safe from tiny, grabby hands) I realized just how much precious real estate the dang thing was taking up! There was a huge hole in my living room! So I moved all the furniture around. (Hoarders made me do it) Now there's twice the amount of space to play. More storage options (yay) and it looks more like a home and less like a kennel.
The Husband was quite surprised when he got home. The whole house had been reconfigured. EXCEPT. I decided there was no good place to put the dog pen... and why did we need a dog pen in the first place? We could get along just fine without it! Right?
Wrong! Yesterday, upon coming home from an outing, I was greeted with 1) Two soiled diapers that had been plucked from the coffee table and shredded all over my rug. (one of them being poopy. Nice) and 2) Scotty had peed all over the Bumbo chair, exersaucer, and one of the girls' toys.
Canine containment units had to be procured- asap. Clearly, my dogs cannot be left to their own devices in my house. They are angsty things that declare war on children, and a change in any of the household protocol. Moving the pen to the garage has really freaked them out.
There's nothing like spending a morning searching the internet for dog crates. I figured the hours I had spent researching this could be of use to someone? Or am I the only one insane enough to have two dogs and three children?
Here's what we decided on:
$99 at fetchdog.com
I like this one because 1) it has a washable bottom, 2) it's open at the top when the dogs are unwilling to go in on their own recognizance, and 3) there is a door, so when the baby is at bay, I can let them wander in and out as they please. (previously, we had to go over and hoist each dog in and out of the pen at their bidding. That got old. Fast. It's similar to the million times a day I let each of them in and out to go potty/bark at everything that moves or makes a sound.
Some other notable options?
starting at $279 at fetchdog.com
This is what I originally wanted. I simply could not justify the price. And it is larger than what we ended up purchasing. I simply am not willing to let the dogs take up more valuable kids-play-space. But seriously- isn't it gorgeous?! (that- and I am lusting after the kitchen! That kitchen is simply stunning- oh to dream of white cabinetry, black hardware, and hardwood floors... sigh. Even if I had that kitchen, it would probably be messed up with bottles lining the counters, jam handprints on the cabinetry, and dishes piled in the sink)
regularly $498- on sale for $299 at orvis.com
I love the idea of a crate as a gorgeous piece of furniture. At some point it might be nice to have two of these- one for each dog- at each end of the sofa. We just need to get rid of the pesky exersaucer and pack n play that currently flank my favorite lounging spot.
from $279 at Improvements
Do you have a penchant for wicker? Great! (whenever my Dad sees wicker furniture, he is forced to utter the phrase "don't light a match!" It's adorable) Also, check out the Improvements Catalog site for other awesome home improvement stuff on the cheap. I've been meaning to get some faux stained glass clings myself. (or I may splurge on some "art glass." (sorry for that large detour from topic!)
Back to dog management!
$299 at frontgate.com
This is made of mahogany. (of course, Frontgate, you always know what I salivate over) It not only makes a pretty pen, but it can be a gate/barrier too. Versatility! Nice!
The finish is superb. And if you are the lucky owner of a sprawling estate (like one that has a dedicated front gate) you should go look at Frontgate's other offerings. Posh. Very posh.
And speaking of Frontgate- (can I gush any more?) Have you been to Babies r Us in search of kid-containment-gates? (like I have) Only to find lame-o, ugly gates like this? And this atrocity:
$69 at Babies R Us.com
Oh yeah. White bars. That looks super nice. (granted, it's less expensive. But still)
Gates are a piece of furniture in your home- and should reflect its/your style! Babyproofing should not be so horrible... and ugly! Don't restrict yourself to the baby stores. Broaden your search horizons to dog supply retailers! It doesn't mean you equate your beautiful offspring with a drooling canine. You just want some nice mahogany to keep your child from taking a nasty spill down the stairs!
$199 at frongate.com
Ooooh! Pretty! Just substitute a baby for the dog- and you've got yourself a sweet baby gate! (I would do that part for you, but my photoshop is acting up. Use your imaginations. If you can throw your toddler a tea party with stuffed animal and "air tea" you can imagine that lady is looking adoringly at her 1 year old daughter.
starting at $129 at orvis.com
Awww. That almost looks like my brood. Minus one of those puppies. And much nicer if you have wood trim in your casa.
$199 at fetchdog.com
Ok. So a toddler may be able to scale that- especially a particularly squirrelly one. It'd be great for a crawler. And yes, I am aware it's two hundred big ones. But really! STAINED GLASS! Could it be any more beautiful?! No.
So if you have dogs, kids, or both- that should have been semi-helpful! This is one more time I'm glad I have a blog. With all the time I spend shopping/researching, (just like my Dad!) I should be able to spread the knowledge around! My craziness should help others! (Instead of solely draining my bank account)